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Keeping it green .. Facilitator Bron Claridge (back left) and teacher Ali Stock celebrate with Fenwick School pupils after the school's enrolment in the Enviroschools programme. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Several schools and preschools in North Otago have enrolled in the Enviroschools programme.

The purpose of the programme is to teach children how to be environmentally sustainable.

Enviroschools facilitator Bron Claridge said she was excited about the initiative.

“People are kind of thinking about things but Enviroschools provides that umbrella to put it all under and get recognition for what they’re doing.”

Maheno Kindergarten, Fenwick, Papakaio, Totara, Maheno, Macraes Moonlight, Flag Swamp, Weston and St Joseph’s primary schools, Oamaru Intermediate School, Waitaki Girls’ High School and ABC Oamaru have joined the programme.

“We’re hoping next year the council and Oamaru ratepayers will see this is a wonderful thing and we should extend it,” Mrs Claridge said.

It was only early days but she was confident the programme would be a success.

“Schools want to be on board – that’s the exciting part.”

Since launching in 2001, the Enviroschools programme had been taken up by more than 1000 schools around New Zealand.

“Everyone’s at different stages and everyone’s got different ideas of what they want to do.”

She believed North Otago was fortunate to have a variety of resources that could assist in the programme.

“There’s lot of resources in Oamaru that we will be able to draw on.”

Her recent appointment as Enviroschools facilitator was also exciting for her, Mrs Claridge said.

“I’m a wee greenie from way back.”

Throughout her years of teaching in North Otago, she had introduced gardens and other environmentally friendly projects to schools.

“It’s a challenge and it’s exciting.”